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« Events in the PR 2.0 world | Main | Content: Is it better to look good or feel good? »

February 05, 2009

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John Sternal

Once again, Jon, you are right on the money. We will both agree that the industry not only has to change - it must change, err, "adapt." Sometimes, though, industries are forced into change (Detroit and cars, anyone?). The "traditional" media industry is currently facing an immense amount of pressure to change. But this is like the chicken or the egg syndrome. Is the media industry changing because its business model is forcing it to change, or is it changing because the way news is reported is drastically changing (Twitter now breaking news faster than CNN). I think this question needs much further discussion.

Jeffrey Kraus

I can't help but wonder if a part of the problem is a lack of solutions from the news industry itself.

The only solution being offered by major media companies is to cut deeper and deeper into the newsroom.

Have you heard, read or seen anything other ideas? I'm curious.

Caroline

Thanks for the thoughts, Jon. Another good post.

In response to what the media is doing besides cutting news staff, today I heard two really interesting, but completely different solutions. Walter Isaacson's front page byline in the most recent TIME suggests outlets need to find a way to charge money for content - giving it away is killing newspapers and magazine, ironically at a time when 2008 readership was up (probably because of the election, but regardless...). NPR highlighted the exact opposite solution in its profile of Paul Steiger's non-profit investigative journalism organization ProPublica. ProPublica is a non-profit operating entirely by private funding and focuses on investigative reporting, producing stories used by outlets accross the country. It's telling to find such contradictory solutions in a single day. Personally, I like the idea of paying for content. Isaacson points to iTunes as an example of a system that removed the hassle of payment and got people to pay for content widely available for free (albeit illegally from Napster-esque sources) I agree with Isaacson that if the NYTimes was deliverd to me in a Kindle-type format, where I could download the paper and read it like a broadsheet as easily as I could buy a tune from Apple, I would be willing to pay for that. Actually, I'm willing to pay for it online as well, but the point is the ease of access and format.

Each story is worth the read/listen. Here are links:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100310863
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1877191,00.html

Adam Gainer

Hey Jon,

I just heard this event on the way home on NPR today. Ms. Woodruff's and your points are very well articulated.

It's interesting seeing the convergence of the "traditional media" and "new media". Each is trying to figure out where it belongs. While we do see "new media" as being more up to date with breaking news ( as you mentioned about CNN and twitter) a major problem is verification and accuracy.

This is where we see "traditional media" has being fact checked and reliable. I don't think we will see the death of extensive reporting and long-term story development. There will always be those who are skeptical of reporting and need those accountable for fact-checking.

While Shankman said the press release will be dead within three months I don't believe that is entirely accurate. It all comes down to reporter's preferences and how they like their information.

P.S. Love the new Blog design.

Jon Newman

Adam,

Thanks for the comment and the kind words. I think we're of the same thinking here.

On the design, I'm still trying to figure this blog thing out so thanks as well.

Stacey

I hope press releases don't become a substitute for news - really, they're a starting point. I'm watching last night's Jon Stewart with the guy who had the TIME cover story on media outlets charging for online content as a way to save the industry. I think they've let things be free for too long for people to adjust back to that. But, something has to happen to increase revenue or else we'll see traditional media shrink in ways we can't even imagine right now.

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